The Cambrian

Dog is center of attention in Cambria reading program for kids

Roberta Vitols' dog Emil gets plenty of attention from kids at the Cambrian Library.
Roberta Vitols' dog Emil gets plenty of attention from kids at the Cambrian Library.

Roberta Vitols is an active volunteer in several Cambria nonprofit and service groups, such as the Cambria FireSafe Focus Group. But you can also find her in the Cambria Grammar School library every Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

She’s not the main attraction for the students, however. Vitols’ dog Emil is.

Vitols explains, “Our countywide dog club, SLODOG, has a therapy dog group. We visit schools, and the children read to the dogs” in a program dubbed “Reading to Rover.”

She said, “The idea is that dogs are nonthreatening and nonjudgmental, and that environment encourages children to practice skills they might otherwise be reluctant to share in public.”

School librarian Bohdi Hodges is a fan, too. “What a gift this program has been! Student feedback has been positive, and it has become the highlight of the week for many.”

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